Blue states and the District of Columbia dominated the top spots for homeless residents per capita, according to a December report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
New York and Vermont came in second and third with an estimated 103,200, or 52.4 for every 10,000, and roughly 3,295, or 50.9 per 10,000, respectively, according to rates calculated by Axios from the report. Washington, D.C., had a higher rate of homelessness than all 50 states at 73.3 per 10,000 residents, or an estimated 4,922 people.
Oregon was next with an estimated rate of homelessness at nearly 50 per 10,000, or just over 20,000 people, and California came in fifth at 46.5 per 10,000, or roughly 181,399 people, according to Axios. In September, homeless camps in San Francisco reached a record high since the pandemic with over 500 sites, and New York has been hosting more illegal immigrants than homeless with over 70,000 in emergency or homeless shelters.
Democratic Mayor Karen Bass of Los Angeles touted the results of her Inside Safe program to combat homelessness in December, but despite the city spending nearly $1 billion every year to solve the issue, homeless encampments increased by 40. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of California even appealed to the Supreme Court in September, asking it to review a decision barring the state from clearing out homeless camps.
Nationwide homelessness increased by 12% from 2022 to 2023 and recorded the highest number of homeless Americans at 653,000 since the U.S. started tracking it in 2007. The year saw a growing number of young people under 25 out on the streets with over 34,700 identifying as homeless any given night, a 15% increase from the year prior, according to the report.
Alternatively, red states had the lowest homeless rates in 2023 with Mississippi at only 3.3 per 10,000 people, according to the report. Louisiana was at 6.9 per 10,000, or an estimated 3,169 people, and Alabama was reported to have had around 3,300 homeless residents in 2023.
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